DETROIT (WWJ) – Two dozen protesters were threatened with arrest in a standoff inside the Detroit City Council offices Wednesday night.

The Change Agent Consortium wanted answers about a drainage fee on their water bills. They say the new fee has cropped up since City Council approved the takeover of the water department by an authority.

They demanded to get answers about fees on their Detroit water bill and refused to go until they got answers – that’s when police threatened arrest.

water bill det smcneill Group Protesting New Fees On Detroit Water Bills Threatened With Arrest

Detroit water bill for one month — shows a fee for drainage. (WWJ/Sandra McNeill)

Retiree Raymond Bazmore showed WWJ a water bill for over $125 a month. He says he doesn’t understand why there are two disposal charges on it in addition to the drainage fee. He calls it extortion. “In my day they used to say even Jesse James had a gun.”

“And only because I have to pay it, I still have an empty lot — not an empty lot a lot next door — I don’t understand about that one.”

David Bullock describes it as a rain tax.

“We don’t know how the rain is being measured, if it’s being measured, how snow will be measured. We were told that a plane flew over Detroit two years ago and took pictures of lots — kind of interesting,” he said.

The group demanded to talk to City Council President Brenda Jones. Jones eventually came out and told the group she has no control over water bills.

A heavy police presence but there were no arrests.


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